Therapists I Have Known (With Bonus Baby Bitch Slapping!)

May 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm 31 comments

NO, I’m not talking about BITCH SLAPPING A BABY, I’m talking about MY BABY BITCH SLAPPING ME. Because she does. And we put on our Serious Faces and correct her in our Stern Voices. And she laughs. Hello, we are screwed.

And hello, I am not sure why these morons could not predict this behavior coming from the fruit of their loins.

Also: You can’t really tell, but I am 7.5 months pregnant here. Please refer me to this photo every time I question Sadie’s behavior.

Apparently, this is normal for her age, but can I tell you how sad it makes me when I request a kiss (a request she only occasionally acknowledges) and move in for the kill and she SLAPS ME AWAY?

Um, excuse me, child, but I swore off booze for FORTY-ONE WEEKS prior to pushing you out the ol’ trap door. I think you can reciprocate with a damn kiss.

Sadie and I have been going it alone this week while Brad is at a Google Analytics conference [read: NYYYERD convention] in Washington, DC. Since we live in an ancient house with tons of baby-gate-defying staircases (seriously, is that why people had so many children back then? Because one of them was always up and dying on the stairs and there needed to be a replacement to make the under-12 shift at the steel mill?), it’s been a challenge keeping her away from any and all bone-breaking scenarios. Things I’ve handed her over the past few days to distract her from throwing herself down the stairs while I do various chores include:

  1. an eyelash curler
  2. the bottom half of a turkey baster
  3. an expired dentist appointment reminder postcard
  4. a hair styling product that I immediately took away from her because it looks like this:

GOOD MORNING.

And then, last night as I was talking to Brad on the phone, she picked a dirty diaper out of the trash* and walked away, cradling it tightly to her side like one of her stuffed toys.

In short: Brad, please come home. Our daughter is hugging used diapers, and I miss you.

(I bet she’d kiss that fucking diaper without slapping it away.)

Anyhoo, thank you for all the comments on my last post. It’s comforting I’m not alone in all my disaster thinking. I’m feeling much better now, thanks to my bitch whore hormones subsiding, and also thanks to some anxiety-reducing techniques I learned in therapy years ago. And that got me to thinking about my time in therapy, and the fine folks who confirmed that I was bat-shit crazy and just needed to settle the fuck down already.

That was the gist of it, as I recall.

I never had a need for therapy until my freshman year of college, when I randomly started having panic attacks (full disclosure: the very first time I had a panic attack, I thought it was alcohol poisoning. It should be noted that I had also discovered keg parties around this time). A friend of mine in the dorm recognized my symptoms as panic, and called her psychiatrist mother during one of my attacks, who then proceeded to talk me through it by having me count down from 100. Aw, I totally hadn’t remembered that until just now. How sweet of her mom. Thanks, Dr. Mom of Random Dorm Friend in 1995! You really did me a solid.

After I knew the problem was in my head and not in my bellyful of Goldschlager, I took my ass to Student Services and signed up for my free therapy hours. That was…remarkably proactive of me, considering I didn’t usually wake up until 11am during this period in my life. At any rate, I was assigned to a therapist who was — to put it kindly — older’n shit. Like, I remember wondering if he’d come out of retirement just to hear some of the crazy talk coming from the mouths of maladjusted college students. He did, however, help me with my panic attacks. He gave me some techniques to stop the chain reaction disaster thinking (and it worked! and still it works!). So, thank you, Dr. Old. You brought me some peace. Even though nowadays you are probably resting in it.

The university’s free counseling had a limit, unfortunately, so after I used up my free sessions the first year, I had to quit. I went back about a year and a half later, though, and this time? HOT DAMN, I hit the therapist lottery. They assigned me to a male grad student, who was — if I may be so bold — hotter’n shit. But alas! Having a hot therapist is NEVER good, Internet. Because working towards improved mental health will take a definite backseat to the following things:

  • curling your hair and wearing cute outfits to your appointments;
  • leaving your boyfriend out of your conversations to imply that you are totally available for some casual therapeutic boning;
  • not paying attention to what the therapist said because you are too busy wondering if he has a girlfriend and/or is gay;
  • making lame jokes in an attempt to make him laugh;
  • hiding in the produce section when you see him late one night at the grocery store and you are wearing ratty pajama bottoms.

Suffice it to say, I did not gain much from my free therapy that year (translation: DID NOT EVEN GET BONED). And shortly after my sessions ran out, I started dating Brad, who was and always has been one of the best antidotes to my acute case of Crazy Brain.

After we got married and moved to New Jersey, I started struggling with my anxiety again (in hindsight, I don’t think I ever stopped struggling with it, I think I was just really happily distracted by all the good stuff going on in my life), so I decided to find another therapist. I randomly picked one out of my insurance company’s lackluster online listing, and when I got there for my first appointment? Well, let’s just say she could have MENTIONED ON THE PHONE that she was a fucking CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST.

Although it was kind of fun talking about my fear of dying while sitting in a chair five inches off the ground.

I guess this bitch was desperate for new patients or some shit, because she assured me that while she wastechnically a child psychologist, she was totally qualified (and more than happy!) to help me out. She seemed nice enough, so whatever. I scheduled a second appointment directly with her, since her very small office was kind of a one-woman-show operation.

I showed up right on time for my second appointment, and…hm. That’s weird. The door is locked. Let me give her a call. Huh. I can hear the phone ringing in there, but no one is picking up. I guess I’ll wait around for 30 fucking minutes. Really? A no-show? FUCK A BUNCH OF THIS SHIT.

After getting stood up by my fucking THERAPIST, for Christ’s sake, Dr. Flakes-a-lot called me and apologized over and over again for the mistake. Although I had been plenty pissed at the time, I overlooked it and we rescheduled for another day.

Another day on which — ONCE AGAIN — she didn’t show up.

I mean, really, lady? REALLY? Thank goodness I wasn’t coming to you for help with abandonment issues. In other news: BUY A FUCKING PLANNER.

I remember her leaving a few suuuuper apologetic messages on my voicemail, but there was no forgive and forget this time. No one dicks this crazy lady over multiple times without first being a blood relative or boyfriend!

I found a replacement therapist in beautiful, scenic downtown New Brunswick, NJ who promised to be a more reliable source of de-crazying. At my first appointment, he had me all figured out, and by the end of the hour he’d mapped out an entire strategy to have me functioning anxiety-free by the end of six months. I remember being a little unnerved by him, mostly because he totally saw through all my shit, and laid it all out for me in the manner of LOOK, if you want to get better, you have to do X, Y, and Z. Don’t like it? Tough shit. I believe the words “exposure therapy” were uttered. I was scared, but mostly excited. This was going to be anxiety boot camp, motherfuckers! I headed back out to the reception desk to schedule my second appointment, which would be at 11:00 in the morning on September 11, 2001.

Sooooooooo.

By around 10:00 on that particular morning, it became evident that I would not be making my appointment, seeing as how the fucking world was ending about 60 miles away. I remember calling to cancel, and Internet. One cannot describe the chaos that was going down at that reception desk. Not to make light of a national tragedy and/or the people with already shaky grips on their own respective sanities, but OH MY LORD when the receptionist picked up the phone, all I heard was shouting and crying and phones ringing off the hook, and I barely got the words, “I won’t be making it to my appointment this morning” out of my mouth before the woman yelled “FINE!” and slammed down the phone.

Yikes.

The end of that week was when we moved to New York City (GOOD TIMING: WE HAZ IT) and HOO BOY there is no better immersion therapy for panic disorders and anxiety than plopping your ass right in the middle of a massive metropolis a few days post-major scale disaster. After about a year or so having panic attacks on the subway (NOT FUN) and on random street corners, they just…sort of stopped. Not completely, of course, but with each passing year since then, the panic attacks got less and less frequent, and now I really don’t have them at all. Well, let’s put it this way: I’m usually able to stop things before they escalate that far. And while I still struggle with anxiety from time to time, it’s so much better than it used to be. And I’m endlessly thankful for that.

And who needs to pay a therapist when you have a baby who can bitch slap you sane at any given moment?

Am I going to have to lay it down?

*It should be noted that this was only a pee diaper, discarded in the soon-to-be-emptied trash before bathtime, lest you think we’re filthy people who don’t even own a proper diaper pail. We do, in fact, own a Diaper Genie, although nowadays we can only use it for the barely-smell-able pee diapers. Anytime m’lady drops a deuce, that diaper has to be escorted off the premises immediately, preferably in a securely sealed biohazard container. I am only exaggerating a little.

Hazmat suit optional, but recommended.

A HUGE THANK YOU to kdiddy for recovering this ENTIRE FUCKING POST after whore WordPress lost it. I think this was the universe’s way of testing my self-proclaimed cured mental health issues.

Well played, universe.

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Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!.

Raw Ten Days

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kdiddy  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I still have it open in my Google Reader if’n you want me to copy and paste some shit.

    Reply
    • 2. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      OMG PLEASE. WTF.

      Reply
      • 3. kdiddy  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

        Would I be a dickhead if I asked if this post disappearance is causing you some anxiety? :-p

      • 4. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm

        HA! Kdiddy, I cannot reply directly to that last comment because WordPress, as we have established, is being a stupid, weird whore, but yes. Although it was more like RAAAAAAGE.

  • 5. MLE  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve given some thought in the last few years to finding a therapist. While I rarely have anxety issues or panic attacks, it would be nice not to freak out any time Dan makes noise in the kitchen or anytime a male friend jokingly hits me with a tortilla. (Hi, Simon!) Daddy issues, I has them. An LCSW friend of mine thinks I have PTSD. Most of the time I don’t even think about it, but when something triggers it, hoo boy, I can’t even describe how shitty it is to burst into tears because an older male colleague has an argumentative, booming voice and he’s sitting too close to you in a staff meeting.

    I’m glad your issues are (mostly) better. Anxiety/panic attacks are no fun at all.

    Reply
    • 6. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      I am a big fan of therapy, and not just because I got a hot therapist that one time. Just hashing it out with someone who’s completely removed from the situation and also sworn to secrecy is an IMMENSE help.

      Reply
      • 7. sweetbird  |  May 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

        THIS

        I loved my shrink in CA for this very reason. I can talk shit about everyone in my family and I don’t have to here about it at Thanksgiving that year. Sadly my therapist usually never offered me anymore insight than that I typically gained on my own by talking it out aloud, but it was still nice to get some shit off my chest with no external repercussions.

        Because seriously, you call an immediate relative a ‘stupid whore’ once, just once – you never hear the end of it.

  • 8. MLE  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Yay, you got it back! I was c&p-ing for you when somehow my mouse clicked on the title, which of course led me to the “wordpress ate my post” page. Props to kdiddy!

    Reply
    • 9. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks for trying, though. I don’t know WTF happened.

      Reply
  • 10. kdiddy  |  May 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I might be a bad person for admitting this, but that 9/11 story was kind of hilarious. You know…in retrospect and whatnot.

    I was going to therapy regularly for awhile a couple years ago. Then I was okay for a few years. Every once in awhile, I think, “Wow, that particular thought process was rather loony. Perhaps I should refer myself to a trained professional.” This was particularly the case during the last few years while I subjected myself to the braingrinder of grad school. But I never really had time to go. Winter doesn’t help. We’ll see how it goes this year without school in the mix, effing things right the hell up.

    When my kid was about a year and a half old, he was big into hitting me. On Mother’s Day, he was holding a thing of deodorant while I changed his diaper and wound up and clocked me right in the eye with it. It hurt so bad and I was so completely DONE with him and his shit that I just left the room. My mom brought him over to me and told him to hug me to apologize, at which point he wound up and slapped me. Asshole. Anyway, infuriating (and painful) as that shit is, they do move past that phase (or, at least, start hitting other people and killing ants and other disturbing behavior but, hell, at least they’re leaving you alone). In the meantime, DUCK!

    Reply
    • 11. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      Um, it was kind of hilarious. I mean, COME ON. It was, like, sitcom-level chaos going on.

      I want to cry about you getting hit (TWICE) on Mother’s Day.

      Reply
  • 12. kristin @ going country  |  May 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Cubby has this STELLAR move in which he weaves around in the air when he’s on my shoulder, thereby eventually lunging sideways and clocking me in the face with his head. He’s already finding a way to hit me, and he can’t even purposely move his hands in the intended direction yet. I’m in BIG trouble.

    Also REALLY not looking forward to solid foods+cloth diapers. Gross.

    Reply
    • 13. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      Actually, solid food poo SMELLS worse, but seems like it would be much more convenient for the cloth diaper set. Because it’s much more, uh, SOLID. Like, you could just shake it off into the toilet and flush OMG I HAVE TO STOP WRITING ABOUT POOP NOW.

      Reply
  • 14. hillary  |  May 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Can I just say that I think you are adorably considerate for calling to cancel your appointment on September 11th? I mean, really. Adorable.

    Reply
    • 15. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      Hee! Thank you. My mother would have been very proud too. That woman raised me to never flake on an appointment.

      Reply
  • 16. Holly jane  |  May 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    You cannot say you learned a bunch of panic attack tricks and not say what they are! Had the same thing, and my dr just said, “oh you has panic, here have drugs yr welcome.” Did not ask about the 4-6 diet pepsis a day (grad school, hi). Haven’t had an attack since I stole that nun last year, but would like a few techniques to be prepared next time. Please to divulge.

    Reply
    • 17. jiveturkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Well, it’s kind of lame and probably has never helped anyone but me in the history of EVER, but he told me that when my thoughts started spiraling out of control to envision a giant stop sign and to even say “STOP” to myself. And then to reroute my thoughts to something completely different (it helps to have a strong set of “other thoughts” on hand, like, say, a hot therapist you once wanted to bone).

      The deep breathing in and out (for counts of ten or whatever) also helps. But I’ve also discovered that sometimes I just need to yell really, really loud. YAAAARRGGH. And if I can go for a walk or do any other sort of exercise, that helps to burn off all that anxious energy. Panic! For your health!

      Reply
      • 18. Gaby  |  May 21, 2010 at 9:54 am

        Thanks for offering your techniques, JT, because I too was wondering how you manage to stop the ever increasing cluster of anxiety-ridden thoughts from getting out of control. I will try to use your tips the next time I need help.

        Quick, probably too personal, question for you–did you find your anxiety lessened while you were pregnant? And how was postpartum? Because I’m almost 34 weeks pregnant now, and I feel better mentally than I did prior to getting knocked up (I’m convinced it’s due to the extra hormone levels surging right now. Like, I needed *extra* to actually just get to normal levels? Something like that). Anyway, I have worries that my anxiety will flood back once this little guy pops out (gotta love premature anxiety, eh?), and I’m curious how it went down post-Sadie’s arrival. But, as always, you owe me nothing! 🙂

      • 19. jiveturkey  |  May 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm

        Gaby: I, too, felt more on the level mentally while pregnant than during any other time in recent memory. I was more chilled out than I’d EVER been in my adult life. WTF?! But here’s the good news: while I have definitely experienced my fair share of hormonally-enhanced behavior post-partum (CRYING AT COMMERCIALS), the anxiety that I had before hasn’t really returned. I get anxious about things as they relate to Sadie (e.g. my post from last week), but for the most part, I just don’t have the time or mental real estate to spend freaking out about all the things I used to freak out about. Yay! I think having a baby around made me learn (immersion-therapy style) that life nowadays is a constant stream of things I can’t control, and I just kind of accepted it and rolled with it. Because I, uh, kind of had to. But it’s brought me a certain degree of peace. Congrats & good luck! 🙂

  • 20. sweetbird  |  May 20, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Sadie’s slapping you? Ugh. I’m not sure which is worse, a baby slapping you or the phone call I got from my sister the other day because her son had just puked directly into her purse.

    I am SO not cut out for motherhood.

    Reply
    • 21. jiveturkey  |  May 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      YIkes! I don’t think ANYONE is cut out to have their pursed puked into. I mean…

      Reply
  • 22. Suniverse  |  May 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Ugh. I HATE panic attacks & anxiety. I have them now quite a bit after a brief hiatus. It’s so hard to remind yourself that it’s the crazy brain and not actually death’s sweet breath pulsating through your system.

    Stupid crazy brain.

    Reply
  • 23. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  May 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Uh, most of this post and many of the comments are making me laugh (the baby puking directly into the purse – hilarious! – because it didn’t happen to me). I am such an asshat sometimes.

    Reply
    • 24. Daughter of 4th Reader  |  May 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm

      I can puke into your purse at any age.

      Reply
      • 25. sweetbird  |  May 21, 2010 at 8:23 am

        LOL

      • 26. jiveturkey  |  May 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm

        My friend puked into her OWN purse once. Driving on a major freeway with a nasty hangover will do that to a woman. Although the baby probably did not have that excuse.

  • 27. Simon  |  May 21, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Hey Brad! Nice Jazz Grip, you friggin’ ponce!

    Reply
  • 28. Marcy  |  May 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    First – I was in NYC the weekend right before 9/11 happened. I had the chance to go eat at Windows on the World but declined thinking I’d make it there another time. I was completely freaked out when a few days later the city I was just in was attacked and the Twin Towers were GONE. I cannot imagine how you felt MOVING there!

    Second – we have the Diaper Champ and with 2 little ones, a changing of the bag requires vast amounts of Lysol and mouth-breathing. Seriously – someone needs to invent something scent free that doesn’t cost a fortune.

    Third – Love the Sadie pic at the very end!

    Reply
  • 29. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  May 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I like to think that Sadie’s inner monologue is: D’Artagnan, how dare you talk to me like that, you. And then, smack ’em.

    Reply
    • 30. jiveturkey  |  May 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      Haha! YES.

      Reply
  • 31. magdalena  |  May 22, 2010 at 12:07 am

    i had an intense crush on my incredibly HOT anesthesiologist [whilst in the hospital having an emergency appendectomy at age 20]. but i digress… a little.
    i’m sure there are plenty of times when i should have gone into therapy, but didn’t. and then there is the ONE time i did and felt like a one man stage show in front of statler and waldorf.
    and she wasn’t even cute!
    alas, i have no dirty diaper lovin’ or mama slapping going on. but she’ll be going into some kind of child care situation next fall, so there is hope for me yet.

    Reply

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